Saturday, December 12, 2009

Chapter 11, Part 4: "Furious Adventure in the City!"

Buzz Brazelhach - Rowdy, Hearty and Lusty Australian Adventurer
Corporal Radar O' Reiley - Earth Man Rocketship-Soldier, Former Crewmate of Moon Martin

Kalervo - Cactoid
Nigel Nightbringer - British Man-at-Arms
Rodan the Scrounger - Zermish (Green) Man Fighting-Man and Scavenger
Thibodeaux - 1850s' Nevada Alien Abductee, Cousin of Jedediah
Xarnagan Vrokk - Haasht Man Fighting-Sage

Part I Here, Part II Here, Part III Here.

The companions take advantage of Vrroomish's generous arrangement with the proprietor of the Bronze Engine and lounge in it's comfortable environs for a week while they recover from the fatigue and injuries incurred in their adventures.

Xarnagan keeps pestering the party with a pushy barrage regarding a mining expedition to the deposit of Prismatic Ore that was discovered in the Prismatic Wastes. On ornithback it would be a fairly short journey and when they adventurers start getting bored and restless they set out on their steeds, mining gear strapped to their saddles. Moon Martin and Vrroomish take their leave of the party for this expedition as Vrroomish expresses uncertainty regarding his desire to continue adventuring after his experience with death and Moon Martin has been treated in a most unfriendly fashion by several of the companions.

By noon they have crossed the Great Span, arrived at Agog City, and are traveling through it to the western gate when Buzz notices the suggestive nature of the sculpture that adorns the signage on a luxurious villa, "The Lurking Serpent." When Buzz opens the door and peers inside, he suspicions regarding it being a bordello are confirmed. He immediately calls a halt to their travels for the days.

While some partake of the pleasures of the Lurking Serpent, others find less decadent entertainment. Xarnagan Vrokk travels to the Sages Hive, a towering, irregular edifice of ancient hexagonal beige resin, containing a multitude of similarly hexagonal cells that houses a sprawling hive of sages, scholars, savants, libraries and laboratories. He consults with the Sage-Bureaucrats that guard access to the facilities of the Hive. Inquiring about access to the archives regarding Artifacts>Ancients>Mechanisms>Power Sources>Radiation Crystals and the usage of a workshop-laboratory equipped with the specified tools and implements, he negotiates a fee of 200 gold credits per day.

Some spend the night at the Lurking Serpent, while others dine, drink and sleep at the nearby hotel, the Flagrant Whore. The next morning, while the party gathers for a breakfast of slig meat with fried pupae and pickled roots, Xarangan proposes that some other members of the party help bankroll his research into how to determine the charges remaining in a Radiation Crystal, the nearly universal power source of technological artifacts of the Ancients.

Rodan the Scrounger, who has a sleek laser pistol of the Ancients and has no idea how many laser beams it has remaining agrees to help fund teh research, which Xarnagan estimates could take anywhere from a couple of days to several weeks.

While others shop, lounge, drink, gamble, womanize, and so forth, Xarnagan toils away in musty, chemical smelling beige resin hexagonal cells deep in the innards of the Sages Hive. He emerges nine days later, bearing a delicate device of prisms and orcihalcum wiring that resembles an elegant set of calipers. The Radiation Crystal from Rodan the Scrounger's laser pistol is inserted into it's contacts, Xarnagan examines the colors displayed in the prisms, and announces that it has enough energy remaining for fifty-six more laser blasts.

The party resolves to continue their expedition to the Prismatic Waste to mine valuable Prismatic Ore. As it may involve much rigorous labor in the hot wastelands, they decide to try and hire some fighting-men, as miners that can defend themselves from the mutants, bandits and monsters seem prudent.

No mercenaries are interested in such work, explaining that they prefer safer assignations such as guarding manors or caravans, although one explains that slave-warriors would be better suited for such a task.

As the party is currently heavy with gold and valuable crystals they go to the slave markets. They find that no fighting-slaves are available, and when asked the slaver explains that no unskilled men are available either. The slave market supply has almost run dry as they are awaiting resupply from slaver caravans, but that he has thirty-three child-servant slaves available and one conditioned Lizardoid bodyguard-slave.

The prices for the child-slaves are fairly cheap while the Lizardoid costs fifteen-thousand credits. Some debate the merits of having a perfectly-conditioned inhuman bodyguard, but the price is too high. The decision is made to buy out the slaver's supply of child-slaves and use them to harvest and haul the ore.

The British Tower of London Guard Nigel Nightbreaker reacts with outrage to the proposal and angrily shouts it down despite accusations of hypocrisy from the Australian and American Earth Men in the party. Despite his empire's history of slave and child labor, he finds the idea repulsive and browbeats the companions into dropping their plans to utilize child-slave-miners.

The party reluctantly resign themselves to doing all the hard work of mining the ore in the Prismatic Wastes and hauling it back to civilization and they begin assembling supplies and loading it on their orniths.


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